The Montana Rules of Admission require that you are certified by Montana’s Character & Fitness Commission before you can sit for the bar exam or be admitted to the Montana Bar. The NCBE performs a background investigation on behalf of the Commission, but does not determine certification for admission to the Montana Bar. The Commission will not certify you for admission until receipt of the NCBE investigative summary, which takes at least 90 days after submission of your application. Therefore, it is critical you respond to requests for information from both the Bar Admissions Administrator and the NCBE as quickly as possible as failure to do so will delay your certification.
Incomplete applications will not be considered and complete applications- do not assume certification.
This is a list of requirements to be completed after the online NCBE Character & Fitness Application
is finalized. Print the checklist for future reference. Supporting documents should be mailed simultaneously with the online submission of your application. However, documents coming from other sources may be mailed separately.
Print TWO Complete Applications:
Please submit all forms that print with your application. The application will only include forms that are necessary for your application.
- Complete Method of Payment (For NCBE: page i of Application).
- Sign and notarize three Authorization and Release Forms for each application.
- Sign and notarize Acknowledgement of Complete Application.
- If you completed Form 1 (Military Service), attach a copy of your report of separation.
- Sign and notarize Form 7 (Authorization to Release Medical Records), if applicable.
- Retain a copy for your records.
- To Revise Finalized Application - Use the Revisions Form to report any errors or omissions on your finalized online application. DO NOT make manual changes to your printed application; use this form to note any changes and attach it to the front of your application. Use this form ONLY if your application has NOT yet been mailed to a jurisdiction or to NCBE. Any revisions mailed to the NCBE must also be mailed to Montana Bar Admissions.
- To Amend Finalized Application - It is your responsibility to update your application while it is pending. Use the amendment forms to report any errors, omissions, changes, or updates to your application. Use these forms ONLY if your application has already been mailed to a jurisdiction or to NCBE. Any amendments mailed to the NCBE must also be mailed to Montana Bar Admissions.
After signing TWO original applications, follow the instructions below to submit an original to the NCBE and an original to the Montana Bar with the required documents and fees for each:
MAIL TO NCBE (ALL applicants):
- Original Application - One complete signed and notarized original of the character and fitness application including the authorization and release forms, attestation page, and all other required forms. Mail to the following address with the NCBE investigation fee:
MAIL TO MONTANA (ALL applicants):
- Original Application - One completed and notarized original of the application including all required forms that were mailed to the NCBE.
- ID – Two color photocopies of your current driver’s license. A valid U.S. Federal or State-issued photo ID that contains a name, date of birth, gender, expiration date and a tamper-resistant feature will be accepted in lieu of a drivers’ license. This should be the same ID you will use to register for the bar exam and the Montana Law Seminar.
- Official law school transcript or degree certification - Arrange for your official law school transcript to be sent directly to the Bar Admissions Administrator. This document must verify that you hold a JD degree from an ABA accredited law school.
- Two completed fingerprint cards & Fingerprint Declaration Form. Fingerprints must be taken by a law enforcement official or authorized agency and mailed with a completed declaration form. (Follow link for Fingerprint Declaration Form and sample fingerprint card.)
- Credit report. A complete credit report dated within 30 days of the submission of the application. (Follow link to free credit report gov. site.)
- Montana Application Cover Page. (Click Here to download)
- Application Fee: A personal check or money order made payable to the State Bar of Montana.
($400 for attorney applicants; $150 for student applicants)
STUDENT APPLICANTS (In addition to submissions above):
- Law School Dean Certificate - This form from the Law School Dean is required to be submitted at the time of application. The final transcript showing that the applicant has earned a JD is due within 30 days prior to the scheduled bar examination.
- Law school application - Arrange for a copy of your law school application to be mailed directly by the law school to the Bar Admissions Administrator.
- Copy of other bar applications - If you have ever applied for admission in any other jurisdiction(s), arrange for the admissions authority to transmit a copy of your application, regardless of whether or not you obtained admission.
ATTORNEY APPLICANTS (In addition to submissions above):
- Copy of previous bar applications- If you have ever applied for admission in any other jurisdiction(s), arrange for the admissions authority to transmit a copy of your application, regardless of whether or not you obtained admission. The application should be the one required for the character and fitness background check (not just the demographic information allowing you to sit for the examination.) If the application is not available or has been destroyed, ask the admissions authority to complete the linked form and provide documents available (if any).
Mail the application and all attachments to the following address:
Montana Bar Admissions
7 West Sixth Ave.
PO Box 577
Helena, MT 59624
NOTE: Application must be postmarked by October 1 for February Exam or March 15 for July Exam.
Late applications will be accepted only if so ordered by the Montana Supreme Court. There is an additional $100 late filing fee if the Court grants a late application petition. If you have questions regarding the Montana application process, please visit the Montana State Bar at https://montanabar.site-ym.com/